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Hereditary and Meritocratic Lordships

 
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DrPaul
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject: Hereditary and Meritocratic Lordships Reply with quote

There is an interesting difference between the Old Lords and the New Lords.

We know that the New Lords of the time of The First Chronicles were chosen on a meritocratic basis, i.e. by demonstrating their proficiency with both Sword and Staff. We also know that the New Lords chose their High Lords on a collegiate basis. While Mhoram was the son of two Lords, we can safely assume that, like many people in modern meritocratic societies, he went in for his parents' line of work and turned out to be very good at it, rather than inheriting their Lordship.

On the other hand, the Old High Lordship passed in unbroken succession from Berek to his son, grandson and great-grandson. The question this poses is whether the office itself was an inherited one, or whether through a combination of heredity and upbringing Damelon, Lorik and Kevin had each managed to acquire the abilities to be the successor, on merit, to their respective fathers' position as High Lord. Certainly in Damelon's case he was his father's most trusted aide at the time of the events that exalted Berek, and presumably would have accompanied him on his journey to the One Tree.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does seem to imply that the Land morphed from a hereditary model to a more democratic model, doesn't it?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrPaul, I had always imagined that the Old Lords were chosen as the New Lords were.

There's no direct evidence either way. But consider Elena ... it would be tempting to claim she was chosen as High Lord solely because she was the ur-Lord's daughter. However, it's clear that everyone believed she was the best candidate, even Mhoram. We are left to conclude that, at best, being who she was helped her achieve more, and then merit was earned.

The alternative would be to believe some rather cynical ideas about the Lords. I just don't believe those ideas.

Consider this: who is better placed to learn from Berek than his son?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea...no direct evidence.
But I'd say, all things considered [especially how people in the Land value each other, recognize the worth of each and all.] it wasn't hereditary. Every one of them achieved something that literally affected the world for thousands of years...each transcended his predecessor.
People can be given an exalted position/title due to circumstances of birth...
And certainly derive benefits from being born and living among the elite...
But none of these guys was resting on anyone's laurels...they were lore-wise, and major bad-asses.
And they didn't dictate from HQ. They were in the field, in the front.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also let's remember that Berek started out fighting for a Queen- it ended up ending the monarchy, but it was a civil war, not a rebellion for freedom or democracy. A legitimate monarch and her champion vs a tyrant. I'd suggest that while Berek and the Old Lords in general were much more communally minded than either queen or king, a long cultural hangover from that system was only perpetuated by the stunning ability of Berek's bloodline.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Cambo.

It should also be noted that in the Land's world the sins and virtues of the father pass on to the children, for example Elena's flaw or the accumulated flaws/sins of Berek's family culminating in Kevin's Desecration (Roger first makes this allegation in the beginning of Fatal Revenant and Covenant pretty much confirms it in later books) If these traits are really hereditary its only natural to make society rigid and heirarchical.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
I agree with Cambo.

It should also be noted that in the Land's world the sins and virtues of the father pass on to the children, for example Elena's flaw or the accumulated flaws/sins of Berek's family culminating in Kevin's Desecration (Roger first makes this allegation in the beginning of Fatal Revenant and Covenant pretty much confirms it in later books) If these traits are really hereditary its only natural to make society rigid and heirarchical.


Come to think of it, whatever happened to the Queen?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaos Arcanna wrote:
shadowbinding shoe wrote:
I agree with Cambo.

It should also be noted that in the Land's world the sins and virtues of the father pass on to the children, for example Elena's flaw or the accumulated flaws/sins of Berek's family culminating in Kevin's Desecration (Roger first makes this allegation in the beginning of Fatal Revenant and Covenant pretty much confirms it in later books) If these traits are really hereditary its only natural to make society rigid and heirarchical.


Come to think of it, whatever happened to the Queen?


This has prompted me to look up FR, where Berek, in conversation with Linden, refers to the Queen in the present tense and to himself as her servant. We are not told anywhere about an heir to the King and Queen. We can posit two possibilities, neither of which precludes the other:

(a) there was no heir after the King's defeat and death (either because none was born, or because s/he died in battle or for some other reason);

(b) Berek and the Theomach decided (with the agreement, or at least the acquiescence, of the Queen) that a system of rule by lore-wise Lords would be better than trying to revive the hereditary monarchy.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrPaul wrote:

(b) Berek and the Theomach decided (with the agreement, or at least the acquiescence, of the Queen) that a system of rule by lore-wise Lords would be better than trying to revive the hereditary monarchy.


If...heh, who am I kidding?...WHEN I do a total re-read, I'm going to try and take note of all the bits of kingdom-through-end of Kevin history.
Because I'm having a hard time picturing/recalling enough info for any conclusions here.
From what I DO recall, I'm inclined to think there wasn't much of anything like gov't of the Land, nothing much like a Nation or State after the Queen.
Though a case could probably be made that there are some theoretical/fictional/mythical ones that are similar...it's hard to see the Lords exercising control/authority/passing laws. Learning, teaching, sharing, yes; defending from evil, leading by example, sure---but not governing. And it isn't/wouldn't be necessary would it?
Because there's a thing about the inhabitants of the Land---the vast majority of them are innately good, innately healthy and strong [strong in several senses], sensibly/tangibly connected to the Land, and innately sensitive to evil/wrong...or, at least become that after Berek's victory, and through the growth of Lore.
Speculative, mostly. But I'm going to watch for clues next time through.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
DrPaul wrote:

(b) Berek and the Theomach decided (with the agreement, or at least the acquiescence, of the Queen) that a system of rule by lore-wise Lords would be better than trying to revive the hereditary monarchy.


If...heh, who am I kidding?...WHEN I do a total re-read, I'm going to try and take note of all the bits of kingdom-through-end of Kevin history.
Because I'm having a hard time picturing/recalling enough info for any conclusions here.
From what I DO recall, I'm inclined to think there wasn't much of anything like gov't of the Land, nothing much like a Nation or State after the Queen.
Though a case could probably be made that there are some theoretical/fictional/mythical ones that are similar...it's hard to see the Lords exercising control/authority/passing laws. Learning, teaching, sharing, yes; defending from evil, leading by example, sure---but not governing. And it isn't/wouldn't be necessary would it?
Because there's a thing about the inhabitants of the Land---the vast majority of them are innately good, innately healthy and strong [strong in several senses], sensibly/tangibly connected to the Land, and innately sensitive to evil/wrong...or, at least become that after Berek's victory, and through the growth of Lore.
Speculative, mostly. But I'm going to watch for clues next time through.


Thinking about it, you're right. Certainly in the First Chronicles the Lords don't govern in the sense that we would think of it. The Clave can be said to rule the Land tyrannically in the Second Chronicles, and the Masters in a benevolent but paternalist and obscurantist way in the Last Chronicles. However the Stonedowns and Woodhelvens we encounter in the First Chronicles are all self-governing.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read this in a while, but, was the Queen's dominion even over the Land that we all know and love at all? It seems that Berek discovered Earthpower when crossing the mountains from somewhere else, and coming into the Land.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IrrationalSanity wrote:
I haven't read this in a while, but, was the Queen's dominion even over the Land that we all know and love at all? It seems that Berek discovered Earthpower when crossing the mountains from somewhere else, and coming into the Land.


My impression/fuzzy recall says that no, it wasn't the Land though it did contain a portion of it...I always think of it as not including most of the northern and western parts---center plains, garroting, Andelain, etc...but I could be totally mistaken.]
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Berek discovered the seven words of Earthpower on the slopes of Mount Thunder, when he was rescued by the fire lions.

He was there because his army had been routed and he was fleeing his enemy.

The queen's lands were the lands of Doriendor Corishev, which lie mostly to the south of the Land, and which became an arid waste.
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